is there any point to this at all. yes, the rocket attacks against southern israel were intolerable, but the israeli blockade of gaza is also intolerable. i don't want to get into the tit-for-tat exchange of intolerables. that goes nowhere and just leads to more intolerable situations.
what i want to know is does anyone actually think that the israeli attack on gaza will decrease the rocket attacks? it seems rather clear to me that, if anything, they will increase in retaliation for the israeli offensive. in fact, there's a good possibility that hezbollah might start firing rockets into northern israel and that there will also be some sympathy violence in the west bank (if not within israel itself). i really don't see how these attacks will do anything but increase the number of rockets and/or violence against israelis. this action will cause them to be less secure, not more. you can't say that killing hundreds of people is a worthwhile cost for achieving a goal if the goal is not going to be achieved.
these things always get tied down into the stupid "who started it" charges and counter-charges. the real question is not "who started it?" it's "who will stop it?" i think yglesias is right, neither side is up to the task:
That, in turn, is a reminder that I just don’t think the parties to the conflict are capable of reaching a settlement without strong external pressure. The internal political logic of both sides defaulting to hawkish extremes is just too strong. On the Israeli side, “strong external pressure” could, in principle, come from the United States were we to have an administration that recognized the necessity of playing such a role.so is has the american administration realized that yet? nope.